Ungodly Timing

Creation of the Sun and Moon (c. 1508-12) by Michelangelo (top); Chronos and his Child (17th century) by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (bottom)

God is very much like time: sovereign over our every thought and deed yet so humbly unobtrusive as to content himself with constant, almost universal disregard. Almost. Just as there are those who consider time in their everyday lives, so too are there those who consider God daily.

Some, the apologists, take the role of pious physicists; they dutifully, though often coldly, theorize about and experiment on God.

Others, the theologians, play the part of priestly philosophers; they all too regularly reduce God to a mere contemplative muse.

Others still, the anti-theists, act as embittered patients in a holy hospice; they simultaneously deny and resent God’s existence and, what’s more, His inexorable predominance.

Lastly, there are a select few, the humble servants, who live as Christ’s children; they experience God anew in each moment. Unlike the rest, theirs is a relational faith. As if grasping tight to a father’s leading hand, they simply delight in each step of the journey that He has prepared in advance.

This may sound nice or perhaps even comforting, but as with any archetypal father, both God and Time do not always exercise the tender forgiveness of their female counterpart. All of us who take these two for something they are not or who rebel against their authority will eventually meet them on their terms, and when we do, we will not recognize the fiercely obtrusive entities before us.

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